The U.S. Postal Service along with Prospect Police Department are issuing a warning to those who drop their mail in USPS collection bins.
The announcement comes after a series of mail thefts in the state.
State and local police were made aware of the targeted thefts after concerns from the community.
Connecticut State Police said that criminals are targeting drop off boxes to steal and alter checks. The thieves are ripping mail open to steal bill payments, gift cards and cash.
Trooper Timothy H. Van Deventer said the case is ongoing but is asking the public to take notice.
“Over the past few months, we have noticed similar incidents becoming more common,” said Deventer. “We want to make sure that we notify the citizens and we keep them as safe as possible.”
Rosanne Longo owns a business on Center Street, right across the street from where some of the thefts happened.
“They are ripping the mail and they are taking checks and maybe gift cards,” said Longo. “We started noticing the pieces of mail in our yard about a week and a half before Christmas.”
Investigators said the uptick in these crimes began during the beginning of the holiday season.
“We encourage the public to take their items directly inside the post office and that’s what we’re really trying to get the public to understand,” said Deventer. “If they do take it inside a post office, there’s no way their mail can be compromised.”
Amy Gibbs is a strategic communication specialist with USPS and is encouraging customers to take different measures to protect their mail.
“We recommend our customers bring their mail inside to one of our locations or even handing it to your letter carrier,” said Gibbs. “You want to make sure you’re using secure bank checks if you’re mailing off any payments to minimize any alterations.”
USPS is hoping that with these tips, customers would continue to use the post office.
“We work around the clock to try and thwart mail theft,” said Gibbs. “In order to maintain our customers' trust, we have to make sure that it is a safe and secure way to deliver their items.”
USPS and with state and local police recommend contacting them if you notice any sticky substances around the drop off bins or anything out of the ordinary.